The results for World Mayor 2005 were announced on 6 December 2005
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Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More
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More than 87,000 took part in
During the second stage of the 2005 World Mayor contest, between early June and 26 October 2005, more than 87,000 people from around the world cast their votes for mayors they believed should win this year’s World Mayor Award. During the first, open, round some 550 mayors from Asia, Africa, Europe and The Americas were nominated for the 2005 World Mayor Award. Based on the nominations, the City Mayors editorial board, the organisers of World Mayor, drew up a short list of 65 mayors to compete for this year’s Award. The winner will be announced on 6 December.
the World Mayor 2005 project
By Tann vom Hove, Editor
Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, wins the 2005 World Mayor Award.
The World Mayor project, organised by the independent and non-commercial City Mayors organisation, aims to raise the profile of Mayors worldwide as well as to honour those who have served their communities well and who have made contributions to the well-being of cities nationally and internationally. Last year’s winner of the World Mayor Award was Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana. The Mayor of Mexico City, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was runner-up.
At the close of the open nomination round, which stretched from January 2005 to the end of May, the City Mayors editorial board drew up a short list of 65 mayors to compete for this year’s World Mayor Award. The winner will be announced on 6 December.
The selection of the 65 finalists was based equally upon the number of nominations received by each Mayor and on the quality and conviction of supporting statements. When setting up the rules for the competition, City Mayors emphasised that the strength of argument was as important as the number of nominations. By stressing the importance of well-expressed comments, City Mayors ensured that the competition participants thought carefully about the merits of their chosen mayors. The rules also ensured that a good mayor from a small city could compete on equal terms against one from a large metropolis.
Indeed, supporters of Mayors of smaller, less known cities, wrote some of the most heartfelt comments. One commentator said of Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga (Canada), that she would be forever in the hearts of her residents. Edward Zabrocki, Mayor of Tinley Park (USA), was described as the epitome of what an elected official should be. The Mayor of Tilburg (Netherlands) Ruud Vreeman, is complimented for his good ‘antenna’. “He stimulates people to regain their neighbourhoods.”
Of the big city mayors, the former Mayor of Mexico City had the most passionate following. “Andrés Manuel López Obrador is the best mayor in the history of Mexico City and in the history of this country. He doesn’t rob like most other Mexican mayors and presidents. He has built a new Mexico City,” said one commentator. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, according to one of her supporters, made the people of Atlanta believe in their city again. Martin O’Malley, Mayor of Baltimore, is praised for his hands-on approach, while Michael Bloomberg, New York City, is admired for his business-like methods in relation to city government.
In Europe, Walter Veltroni, Mayor of Rome, has won the gratitude of many who attended Pope John Paul’s funeral and Pope Benedict’s election. “We would like to thank the Mayor for the hospitality Rome has shown to all those attending the funeral of Pope John Paul and the election of Pope Benedict.”
Dick Hubbard, Mayor of Auckland (New Zealand), is ‘saluted’ for his decision to preserve Auckland’s heritage and to deny building permission for badly designed buildings.
In Pakistan, the 70-year-old former Mayor of Karachi, Naimatullah Khan, is described as a ‘gentleman’ who worked non-stop for the world’s fifth largest city. “The Mayor has changed the city with limited resources available to him. He has built lots of good parks for children and their mothers. He completes his projects on time. He is an example of good governance.”
With the exception of Edi Rama, last year’s winner of the World Mayor Award, all mayors from the 2004 contest were eligible to take part this year. The short list of 65 finalists for the 2005 Award includes three mayors from Africa, nine from Asia, two from Australia, 19 from The Americas and 32 from Europe.
Africa is represented by Mayors from Ethiopia, Madagascar and South Africa. China and Japan have contributed two Mayors each to the nine Asian finalists. Other Asian Mayors come from Pakistan, Taiwan, Turkey, Iran and the Philippines. The Mayors of Melbourne and Auckland represent Australia and New Zealand.
Of the 19 Mayors from The Americas, ten come from US cities, with a further four city leaders from Canada. Brazil is represented by the Mayors of Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mayor of Mexico City, and last year’s runner-up, is also one of this year’s 65 finalists.
The European group of Mayors in the 2005 short list is made up of representatives from all parts of the continent. Mayors from Russia, Lithuania, the Ukraine and Poland compete against those from western Europe, including London, Paris, Rome, Athens, Madrid and Berlin. But the list also includes Mayors from less prominent cities such as Innsbruck, Grenoble, Leipzig, Rhodes, Skopje, Tilburg, Saragossa and Hartlepool.
All readers of the City Mayors and World Mayor websites are eligible to take part in the World Mayor 2005 election. Participants are asked to vote for the mayor who, in their opinion, has all the qualities to become World Mayor 2005. Participants are also asked to back up their vote with a supporting comment, describing the qualities of their chosen mayors.
For the organisers of the World Mayor contest the quality of supporting comments for a mayor is as important as the number of votes he or she receives. The best comments are being published. More